Hamburg, Germany - 15 September 2014: Evotec AG (Frankfurt Stock Exchange: EVT, TecDAX, ISIN: DE0005664809) and the Jain Foundation Inc. today announced that they have further extended and expanded the collaboration first signed in 2012 and extended last year.
This next phase of collaboration includes the screening of compound libraries in multiple assay formats to further support the Jain Foundation's goals of understanding and curing dysferlinopathies, a group of inherited skeletal muscular dystrophy diseases. This marks a major milestone in the efforts of the Jain Foundation to identify therapeutics which can counteract the phenotypes of dysferlin deficiency.
Dr Mario Polywka, Chief Operating Officer of Evotec, commented: "We are delighted to continue our relationship with the Jain Foundation and to be a part of this important step in dysferlin research. The progress to date and initiation of multiple screening programmes is a major accomplishment for both organisations and demonstrates Evotec's growing role in driving innovative and industrialised research in partnership with foundations such as the Jain Foundation working in rare diseases."
Dr Plavi Mittal, President and CEO of Jain Foundation, added: "We are pleased with the progress of our project with Evotec to date, and are excited to move forward to the screening phase of our drug development programme."
No financial details are disclosed.
ABOUT THE EVOTEC AND JAIN FOUNDATION COLLABORATION
In 2012, Evotec and the Jain Foundation initiated a research project to explore and validate cell-based assay principles useful for high throughput screening using dysferlin deficient skeletal muscle cells. The aim of this project is to discover compounds that improve the well-being of these dysferlin deficient skeletal muscle cells. In 2013, Evotec and the Jain Foundation extended and expanded their collaboration to leveraging Evotec's assay development and screening capabilities.
ABOUT JAIN FOUNDATION
The Jain Foundation, located in Seattle, Washington, USA, is a privately funded not-for-profit focused on finding a therapy for muscular dystrophies caused by dysferlin deficiency (LGMD2B/Miyoshi Myopathy).
ABOUT MUSCULAR DYSTROPHY
Muscular dystrophy refers to a group of diseases that produce muscle weakness. Muscular dystrophies all involve abnormalities of the muscle cells themselves, rather than the nerves that control the muscles. All muscular dystrophies are caused by genetic mutations. Limb-girdle muscular dystrophy refers to a group of diseases (not a single disease) which were lumped together, long before the era of molecular biology and genetic engineering, because they shared some common clinical symptoms. The name refers to the first muscles to show symptoms, which are those around the shoulders and the hips. Myopathy simply means 'muscle disease'. Miyoshi Myopathy (MM) is a form of muscular dystrophy that was first described in the medical literature by Miyoshi in 1967. Although first identified in Japan, it occurs worldwide. Miyoshi is caused by defects in the gene for the protein dysferlin. Dysferlin is a protein made from the dysferlin gene that, when mutated or absent, causes both Limb-Girdle Muscular Dystrophy type 2B and Miyoshi Myopathy.
FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS
Information set forth in this press release contains forward-looking statements, which involve a number of risks and uncertainties. The forward-looking statements contained herein represent the judgement of Evotec as of the date of this press release. Such forward-looking statements are neither promises nor guarantees, but are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond our control, and which could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated in these forward-looking statements. We expressly disclaim any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any such statements to reflect any change in our expectations or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.